WAIMEA — 2019 Merrie Monarch Miss Aloha Hula Taizha Keakealani Hughes-Kaluhiokalani of Halau Hi‘iakainamakalehua never owned a Hawaiian heirloom bracelet.
As winner of the prestigious soloist award, Hughes-Kaluhiokalani received a custom engraved 15 mm 14k gold bracelet from Lehua Jewelers in Waimea.
Miss Aloha Hula is engraved on the front of the gold piece but Hughes-Kaluhiokalani worked with the jeweler’s design team to come up with a true one of a kind design for the back of the piece.
“Each winner has their own concept of what’s important to them,” said owner Sharon Gilbert. Her team takes that concept and creates a work of art.
Hughes-Kaluhiokalani chose a design that included two pahu representing her kahiko performance and three lehua blossoms representing the relationship between Liloa, his wife, Akahikuleana and their son, Umi, a Liloa who is her ancestor. The three blossoms also represent her evolving with her two kumu.
Gilbert said Lehua Jewelers has been awarding the bracelets for Miss Aloha Hula since 2013. Known for their heirloom jewelry, she said all items have hand cut, enameled lettering and fused glass enameling.
Lehua Jewelers has been serving the Big Island at the Waimea Center since 1985.